More gaming last night with the Farnborough group. (Actually, since Keith moved only Trevor actually lives in Farnborough now, so maybe we should call it something else....). Les had asked me to introduce Tempus so, having got home from work a mere 15 minutes beforehand, and pausing only to grap Tempus, a beer and a bag of savoury snacks, I arrived at Les's flat barely on time and hastily set up the game. It proved fairly easy to teach - the game is straightforward and simple - but there was a foul-up at the end of turn one when Trevor attcked Les even though he only had three hexes. We had to rewind a few actions unfortunately which left Trevor with a rather boxed-in situation.
I have to admit I thought I was cruising to an easy victory, but I had underestimated Lance who beat me by one point to win with 23. I think I became fixated by that little aircraft at the end of the epoch track, and neglected to spread out into as many spaces as possible - not that many were available without a fight.
Biggest disappointment was the time - well over 3 hours for what is supposed to be a sub-2hr game. This group is remarkably slow, even compared to my Salisbury group (and I thought they were slow). I feel that they sometimes treat a gaming evening as a relaxing social time instead of what it obviously should be - a relentless, nose-to-the-table, time-trialled, blood-soaked boardgaming machine.
I like Tempus. I like the way it keeps everyone moving around the board in search of the latest fashion in tribal terrain - no chance of positions stagnating. I like the variable map. I like the simplicity and accessibility. I don't like the graphic design - it is almost impossible to distinguish black from purple pieces under electric light. And the murky terrain colurs are also puzzling sometimes. As are the city tiles. I will certainly be taking a paint brush to the purple wooden pieces in the near future, or replacing them with scavenged bits from another game....